To liven up my week before I take off to New Zealand a bit my little brother and I decided to organize a hike with some of his friends. I looked around online a bit and found something that looked promising around the Gorge that started at the Eagle Creek Trailhead.
We (Brian, Gabe, Kyla, Colleen, Molly, Pauline and me) took a late start to the day and weren’t hiking until 1:00 PM. The trail up hugged a few steep rock walls that had built in cables for a little relief. Regardless, the drop offs made us all afraid of heights for the day.
The forest is gorgeous this time of year with vibrant greens everywhere you look. Even a few wildflowers were popping up here and there along the trail. After 3 miles of winding through beautiful tall trees, we stumbled down to an open creek bed we had been following where a couple other tired hikers were eating their lunch. It took us a little while to realize that the real sight was around the corner upstream where the Punchbowl waterfall slammed into a small basin.
Without a clear walkway to the falls, we decided a short swim was necessary to take a closer look. Even with water around 35 degrees, the swim was worth the view.
Three miles later we hit another massive waterfall. Tunnel Falls is around 100 ft high and allows hikers to pass behind it through a dynamited cave. Whoever had the crazy idea to put the tunnel into the cliff-side was some kind of genius because the views are unbelievable.
We all took turns at the cave opening staring up at the falls crashing down just feet from out heads to the pool below. This unique spectacle was definitely worth the hike up.
- Tyler Grubb